Being shadowed while trying to cook dinner. Very aggravated. Any advice?

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Dad sees me start to cook, comes in to the small kitchen, notices a task he can do, and gets in my way. My deterrents don't work. Ideas? He has mild cognitive impairment. He's wonderful, helpful, bored, and in my way. I need him out of my way as I have a bad knee and it already hurts just to be standing and walking. To work around him is too hard on my knee. The kitchen is very small, but there's a chair by the window and it overlooks the ocean. That goes ok sometimes, but I need new ideas please.

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That's a good idea too. My dad doesn't have dementia, but he is set in his ways. He has a tendency to be rather anxious when he's waiting for something. He will sometimes stand over me while he waits. It drives me nuts. I just say, "Daddy, please don't stand over me while I look for that statement. It's too unnerving. I'll come and get you when I find it." He complies. I don't think it hurts his feelings. He sometimes forgets and I have to remind him to not stand over me while I look for something.
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You could always just try the direct approach and ask him to leave you alone while you are cooking. Simple, done.....

If he continues to do it guide him gently out with your hand. Eventually he'll get the hint.
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I'm not sure what level your dad is at, but is he able to distinguish between numbers? What if you save sale papers and have him sort through them and circle the best buys. And with plastic scissors, could he clip out coupons? They may be for things you don't use, but you could say you trade them or give them away at work. So he doesn't have to know you aren't using them.

I think that paper shredder idea is great.
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Big hug.
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Thanks blannie! I just do it because he is the man I was so passionately in love with for 35 years. Now it is just an extension of my mind and body to care for him. I don't know how I will handle it if he stops walking. That will be the straw that breaks the camel's back! As long as he can move around I can still handle it. Once he is immobile I will have to put him in a home! We are in year 10 now and I pray it is over soon.
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A big virtual hug to you, Wamnanealz. That must be very difficult to deal with on a daily basis! I don't know how you do it. Hugs!!
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My husband could no sooner do any of these chores than a tree branch could. He is helpless, speechless, has no understanding of anything. He is sitting here watching me write this right now! By the time he started really shadowing me, his mind was too far gone to explain or even show him how to do anything. I am totally serious. He is just right next to me every moment. Even follows me tot he bathroom. Just like a puppy dog! There is no answer for stopping him from doing this!
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No putting away of groceries. He has to be OUT OF THE COOK'S WAY!
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Another thought after reading more messages....ask him if he'll be in charge of putting away the groceries. Perhaps, if necessary, add labels to the various shelves where different products go - i.e., a shelf area for eating soups, cooking soups, out of season canned fruit, etc. That way he can be assured of putting things in their proper places.

That can be his special responsibility.

He could also take inventory, using a form you've drafted, marking off cans as they're used so you know what to buy.

If he does that before dinner, you could tell him that he's done well and he can take a rest in the living while you're prepping and making dinner.
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Ccflorida, you have my sympathy. I'm glad my father still helps. However, I understand your frustration. I also use the rule of while I do this task, you go there and do that task. For example; while I assisted mom the other day, I asked dad to go unpack the stuff I had brought to cook. I also asked him to make room in the refrigerator for leftovers.

This makes everyone happy.

I think you have received some great suggestions.

Be blessed!
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